CHICAGO – There are a few things that are common between the north siders and the south siders during an unusual 2020 season.
The first things that’s obvious is the success of both teams in town. As of Sunday, the Cubs have a four-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central division with two weeks left to play.
Their 28-20 record has them on the verge of clinching one of the eight playoff spots in the National League in a few weeks.
Meanwhile the White Sox are in the same boat as they look poised to end a long playoff drought with an even better record than the Cubs. With a weekend sweep of the Tigers, the White Sox 30-16 record puts them at the top of the American League standings with 14 games left in their season.
But in 2020, the teams together made some history, and they have a pair of pitchers to thank for that.
For the first time, both the Cubs and the White Sox threw a no-hitter during a single season. Alec Mills’ “no-no” was the first of the year for the north siders and comes two-and-a-half weeks after Lucas Giolito threw on August 25th at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Pirates.
The Cubs have now had 16 no-hitters in their history while the White Sox have 19 in their history, but they’ve never come in the same year. Mark Buehrle threw a no-hitter in 2007 then a perfect game in 2009, with Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter at Miller Park against the Astros coming in between in 2008.
Another close call came over 100 years ago, Joe Benz of the White Sox threw a no-hitter in 1914 and the Cubs’ Jimmy Lavender got one the next season. But never before 2020 had each franchise had this pitching achievement in the same season.
While it’s been a most unusual year for the sport, at least Chicago’s teams have a unique milestone.